“Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) lets you create your own logically isolated set of Amazon EC2 instances and connect it to your existing network using an IPsec VPN connection. This new offering lets you take advantage of the low cost and flexibility of AWS while leveraging the investment you have already made in your IT infrastructure.”—Amazon Web Services Blog: Introducing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
“Years to Reach 50 millions Users: Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.”—Socialnomics
“This site [Craigslist] not only beats its competitors—Monster, CareerBuilder, Yahoo’s HotJobs—but garners more traffic than all of them combined. With more than 47 million unique users every month in the US alone—nearly a fifth of the nation’s adult population—it is the most important community site going and yet the most underdeveloped. Craigslist gets more traffic than either eBay or Amazon.com. eBay has more than 16,000 employees. Amazon has more than 20,000. Craigslist has 30. Only programmers, customer service reps, and accounting staff work at craigslist. There is no business development, no human resources, no sales. As a result, there are no meetings.”—Fred Wilson
True story: In July of last year I was so instantly enamored with this new service I had tried, TweetDeck, that I immediately reached out to the company’s founder, Iain Dodsworth, and asked if I could buy his company. I’ll remind you that TweetDeck had only launched on 4, July 2008. It was love at first site.
Iain smartly said no. He was just getting started on a big, big idea. Upwards of 20% of Twitter’s total daily usage now comes through TweetDeck.
Facebook now #5 website in the U.S. — wasn’t in top 10 last year.
Twitter has also entered the top 50, in at number 42 with an estimated 21.2 Million monthly uniques, however Twitter is probably undercounted by about 30-40% since about that much of Twitter’s usage is from clients such as Tweetdeck.
Ship it! Stop debating, stop analyzing, stop featuring, and just ship it! Goal #1 should be to get your product to market as quickly as possible so that you can minimize the time it takes to start getting real user feedback. You are going to get a lot of the early stuff wrong so get it out there and start learning as fast as you can.
Stay small. Minimum required people in order to ship it.
Stay cheap. Spend as little as possible to get as far as you can. Preserve cash. Preserve cash. Preserve cash. Trust me, you will need it more later than you do now.
One little milestone at a time. You know that great big vision you have for how you are going to rule the world and create the next Facebook or YouTube or Twitter? Write it on a piece of paper, hang it up on the wall, and then forget about it for a while. Focus early on on hitting one little milestone at a time.
Keep it simple. If you can’t wire-frame your initial prototype in powerpoint, you’re trying to do too much from the start.
Trust your instincts. You’re the founder for a reason. Push through walls to do it the way you think it will work. The user will decide in the end if you are right, but don’t get caught up in too many debates with advisors, investors, etc. before you ship it.
Share. Twitter, blog, Facebook, etc. Get your ideas out there and get feedback. Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas, rather get people excited about helping you.
Nurture alpha and beta users.
Do your own customer service. Get as close to user problems, frustrations, and suggestions as you can.
Work out. Every single day. Sound body = sound mind.
I’ll post here about things I’m doing, companies I’m advising, projects I find interesting, and about my investments. I’m not sure exactly where it will go quite yet. As always, I just “shipped it!” and we’ll see where it takes us.
Why “betashop” ??? — cuase life is a beta and this is my shop.
2008 was a blast. I was a fulltime product manager on socialmedian, working with the best team ever, True Sparrow. I travelled to Pune, India 13 times in 12 months in 2008 to work with the True Sparrow team. We shipped code daily and practiced the Ship It! model for product development, living off of user feedback to rapidly iterate.